Bitterballen are a savoury Dutch meat-based snack, typically containing a mixture of beef (minced or chopped), beef broth, flour and butter for thickening, parsley, salt and pepper. This is also called ragout.
Some recipes also include nutmeg and/or curry powder. The ingredients are combined and cooked, then refrigerated so the mixture can firm up. Once firm, the filling is then rolled into balls roughly 3 cm in diameter, and battered in a breadcrumb, milk and egg mixture and deep-fried. They are typically served with a ramekin or small bowl of mustard for dipping.
They are eaten in Suriname, the Netherlands Antilles, the Netherlands, Belgium, to some degree in Indonesia, and hardly anywhere else.
Popular on Dutch pub menus, bitterballen are very similar to kroketten (plural of 'kroket') in their ingredients and preparation/cooking methods, as well as flavour, though kroketten have a distinct oblong sausage shape, with a similar diameter, so kroketten are larger.
Bitterballen are a particular favourite of fans of Aberdeen Football Club, who refer to them as "Stovie Balls", named after the Scottish delicacy stovies.
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Bitterballen (Dutch deep-fried gravy), mydutchcookingblog.blogspot.com